January 12, 2018

In this Issue:

  • Legislature Returns
  • Grassroots Assistance Needed
  • Legislative Activity of Interest
  • Sign Up for the ICUL Legislative & Regulatory Issues Conference
  • Chapter Lobby Visits – New Name, New Schedule!

Legislature Returns

The 87th General Assembly of the Iowa Legislature convened this week, starting the 2018 legislative session. As a reminder, Republicans control every aspect of state government, having majorities in both the House and Senate, as well as the Governor’s office. Senate Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix (Shell Rock) and Senate President Jack Whitver (Ankeny), have a 29-20-1 majority (there is one Independent Senator, David Johnson). House Republicans, under the leadership of House Speaker Linda Upmeyer (Clear Lake) and Majority Leader Chris Hagenow (Windsor Heights), have a 58 to 41 advantage over minority Democrats. There is an open House seat in Sioux City, with a special election set for January 16.

The legislative calendar is set to last 100 days, with April 17 being the target for adjournment.  At the very least, legislators will stop receiving per diem expense reimbursement after that date.  January 19th is the final for lawmakers to request bill drafts.

On Tuesday, Governor Reynolds delivered her first Condition of the State address, laying out her priorities as Iowa’s first female Governor.  Her budget calls for $7.44 billion in state general fund spending, which would be about 2.7 percent above the current fiscal year (FY 2018) budget, which ends June 30.  The legislature and Governor have to address a projected $34.7 million shortfall in this current FY17 budget, due to state revenue not keeping up with projections.  Among several policy priorities she outlined, Governor Reynolds advocated for a multi-year approach to tax reform, starting this year with eliminating federal deductibility and focusing on individual income taxes, with the second year focused on corporate tax reform.  The Governor also called for a bi-partisan commission to be formed, charged with working over the summer and fall, reviewing the various state tax credits and making recommendations for changes.

Grassroots Assistance Needed -- Bankers Advocating to Raise Credit Union Taxes

Governor Reynolds and legislative leaders are having much dialogue on the topic of tax reform as a priority for this session.  Although the session has just begun, the bankers are using this topic as an opportunity to advocate for increasing credit union taxes.  We need your help reaching out to your State Senator and State Representative, asking them to oppose any tax increase on credit unions—which is ultimately a tax increase on Iowa’s 1.1 million credit union members.  Please click HERE to send an email to your legislators, it will only take a couple minutes of your time.

Legislative Activity of Interest to Credit Unions

In the Governor’s FY19 budget that was released this week, the Division of Credit Unions was provided an increase of $335,000 over the current fiscal year, making the total Division budget $2,204,256.  The increase was requested by the Division to fund: 1) an additional FTE and 2) a technology upgrade needed to ensure the portal used by examiners for sharing of sensitive information is appropriately secure.

Because it was the first week of session, fewer bills than normal were filed in the House and Senate. An update on legislation of interest will be provided in each upcoming Forum and all bills being tracked by the League will can be viewed on our web site.

Senate Study Bill 3017/House Study Bill 515:  This bill provides that County Assessors may send any assessment, notice or other information to persons by electronic means, if the person entitled to receive such items has authorized that form of delivery.

Senate Study Bill 3013/House Study Bill 504:  This bill requires that, when a mortgage is paid off, notice be given by the mortgagee within 30 days of payment in full by executing a notice of satisfaction (under current law, there is no timeframe for the notice).  New language is added, making clear that notice need not be filed if it secures a revolving line of credit.

Senate Study Bill 3007/House Study Bill 500:  This bill amends the probate code to allow for the distribution of a decedent’s property by affidavit in estates as large as $50,000. Under current law, only property in estates that are $25,000 or less are able to be distributed by affidavit.

Senate Study Bill 3018:  This bill would make it a class D felony for someone to possess a scanning device or encoding machine with the intent to use it for the purpose of obtaining information encoded on a payment card.  The bill also makes it a crime of third degree criminal mischief for anyone to destroy, deface or damage property that has the ability to process payment cards, including ATMs.

Register for the ICUL Legislative Conference

The annual ICUL Legislative and Regulatory Issues Conference is February 6-7 at the downtown Renaissance Savery Hotel in Des Moines.  On the Legislative Day of the conference, February 6, Governor Reynolds will kick things off as the first speaker.  The keynote speaker before lunch is Jim Messina, President Obama’s 2010 Campaign Manager.  Jim will speak to the campaign’s use of data and other technologies to reach voters during that election cycle—and how that can translate to today’s advocacy with lawmakers.

After morning speakers, we will bus to the Capitol and visit with our lawmakers, with a focus on protecting our tax status.  It's important that we get as many people to the Capitol as possible to make our voice heard, so one-time special pricing is being offered to encourage participation.  Two-day registration is $249 (regularly $349) and one-day registration is $125 (regularly $199).  Please click HERE to register:

Register for Capitol Hill Days

Our tradition of two hill visits during the legislative session continues again this year.  The importance of these visits to our advocacy efforts can’t be overstated, as lawmakers want to hear directly from constituents. This year, the dates are:

  • Wednesday, March 7
  • Wednesday, April 4

The start time is 11:30 a.m.  A lunch and a legislative briefing will take place at the State Historical Society of Iowa, 600 East Locust, Des Moines, followed by our walk to the statehouse. Free parking is available in a ramp across from the Historical Society.  Generally, the hill visits are wrapped up around 3-3:30 pm.  To sign-up for a Capitol Hill Day, please click HERE.

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